A Plan – Local Solutions to Global Problems
I recently came across this man’s very interesting and in depth website with all kinds of resources and information about the new economy and transition towns. It is full of practical ways that we can all work to creating a responsible, creative and engaged community and world. He has recently written a book Changing Course for Life which outlines ways that we can do this. I haven’t read the book yet, but it is on the top of my list of things I want for Christmas :).
The following information about Julian Rose’s personal history is from his website .
Julian Rose is one of the pioneers of UK organic farming, commencing the conversion of his farm in 1975. He joined the Soil Association board in 1984 and campaigned vigorously for the widespread introduction of organic farming methods at a time when this system was not known. Julian achieved notoriety when he brought a cow up to London (Hyde Park Festival of Farming) and demonstrated vociferously against a government attempt to ban unpasteurised milk.
Julian went on to develop his farm as a mixed organic enterprise selling all its main produce locally, while refusing to sell to supermarkets. He developed a theory of local production and consumption which he named “The Proximity Principle.” His advice has been sought by local authorities, development agencies and government.
In 2000 Julian was invited to become a co-director of the International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside, co-launching a highly successful ‘Campaign for a GMO Free Poland’ as well as leading a high profile defence of peasant farmers whom he holds-up as the true guardians of biodiversity throughout the world.
The following is a summarized version of Julian Rose’s plan for making a better world, as mentioned above, more detail can be found in his book Changing Course for Life.
It is proposed to draw-up and instigate ‘A Plan’ for the introduction of responsible citizen leadership at the local, regional and eventually national level.
This is necessary in order to combat the dissolution of government bodies into quasi fascistic autocracies pursuing only the goals that offer the greatest financial returns, leading to the destruction of all (civilised) values and essential planetary resources.
This process will involve root and branch reform of each and every plain of society: social, economic, environmental, agricultural, cultural, spiritual, scientific, technological, political etc.. Each chapter of the book ‘Changing Course For Life’ provides a reference point for this process, laying the ground for activating this process of change and catalysing the establishment of the decentralised, community renaissance that is so needed today.
In order to achieve this – an essential shift of direction – the main areas of planetary concern need to be brought into focus and then deliberately reset on a new course. A course free of subversive influence and ulterior motives.
In order to assimilate the most appropriate methodology and key ingredients to fuel the realisation of such a ‘new renaissance’, it will be necessary – in each Country – to bring together thoughtful, creative and holistic thinking individuals. These individuals can then form a number of ‘Working Committees’ in order to formulate realisable goals for positive change and widespread reform of our defunct institutions.
It should be the collective responsibility of these ‘Working Committees’ to draw up ‘action plans’ containing the essential criteria, tools and methodology for resolving the key elements of the pervading crisis currently engulfing mankind.
One way of doing this would be for each committee to concentrate on one of the broad areas of concern already identified: I.e. social, economic, agricultural/environmental, cultural, spiritual, scientific/ technological and political. It would be particularly important to incorporate ‘the bigger picture’ holistic thinking into this process.
Once the different Working Committees conclude their work, their different (yet interconnected) areas of concern can be merged into a single document which will embrace all inputs.
The work of merging the conclusions drawn up by the Working Committees could be undertaken by a ‘Main Committee’ formed of individuals drawn from the original Working Committees.
A minimum of two or three members from each of the Working Committees could be chosen to form the Main Committee, maybe comprising a maximum of approximately 21 people. The Working Committees can then be disbanded.
In order to ensure a concentrated and dynamic working process, a deadline for completion of the Working Committee phase of activity will need to be agreed. It is recommended that this phase of work should be completed within approximately 3 months of commencement.
A sense of urgency is essential. Our planet can tolerate no more abuse on the current scale and intensity of implementation.
For instance, each Working Committee could meet a minimum of two times a month in order to draw up their respective action plans for change. Each Working Committee would need to be composed of clear sighted, dynamic practitioners/thinkers and those individuals embodying broader holistic perspectives. They should all embody an enthusiastic commitment to arrest the process of decline and to help bring about positive change.
‘The Working Plan’ which results from merging the separate committee findings, should lay out a clear vision of the reforms that are needed in every area of society; providing practical resolutions that reverse the present crisis manifesting itself in all these domains.
All the chapters in the book “Changing Course for Life” are especially written to provide a springboard and reference point for the discussions and eventual resolutions to be arrived at during this process. So it is to be hoped that it will be widely utilized as a ‘tool for change’.
Upon completion of the work of the Main Committee, the proposed ‘Plan of Action’ can be published.
THE MAIN COMMITTEE and the PLAN
The job of this Main Committee will then be to find the best way of disseminating and instigating the contents and recommendations of The Plan of Action into all key areas of society.
Special retreats/workshops could be held to aid the development of this process.
These workshops and gatherings could be held in town halls, farms and country houses to ensure a balance of influences and atmospheres. They should be intense, inspirational occasions, catalysing a highly creative and fruitful series of deliberations.
The actions decided upon at these special gatherings can then be taken forward in order to transform the thinking and doing of decision making bodies throughout the Country, at the local, regional and eventually national level. The best way of doing this will have to be worked out by all involved.
This entire process should be financed from within. NO government money should be sought for Renaissance 21 activities.
Throughout all phases of the process, cooperation with government should be maintained, but not negotiated.
There should be a process of ‘non-cooperation’ with the enforcement of blatantly unjust laws and, as a last resort, civil disobedience rather than enforced slavery.
The objective is to ensure that boards and decision making offices of County Councils, District Councils and Parish Councils, are increasingly made up of those dedicated to implementing the reforms essential for positive change, as arrived at in ‘The Plan’. These Councils will thus become new hubs of creative activity, catalysing a fresh impetus and objectivity amongst local citizens and thereby attracting creative and wise citizen involvement in local, regional and national decision making arenas previously ignored by such individuals.
This will provide the foundation for a concerned, humanitarian citizens movement, taking responsibility for the future. It is envisioned as a bottom up approach, starting at local and regional levels.